The last two weeks have seen the weather play its part in disrupting not only our league schedule but training as well. On both occasions the pitches were waterlogged and there was little choice other than to cancel Tuesday’s training session and the match away at Tonbridge.
The referee had a difficult choice to make last Saturday as in his words it was a ‘borderline decision’. I must say both myself and Tommy Warrilow both commented that 10 years ago the game would have definitely gone ahead but with players’ safety absolutely paramount and rightly so, the referee had little choice but to call the game off when he did. With standing water stopping the ball instantly in some areas and more rain falling it was the right thing to do.
In some respects, it was a blessing in disguise as we have played 20 games in the first 11 weeks of the season, the highest amount of games of any team in the Skrill South. The postponement gave the players the opportunity to go home, relax and enjoy the weekend which hopefully they all did.
The postponements did raise our awareness of how fragile the pitches are when we get any sustained spell of weather and showed us how little choice we have regarding facilities if our training ground becomes unavailable. In time we hope to have our own all weather pitch which will benefit the club financially during the week as well as offering us a training surface. All this takes time and money but as we have said before it is about building from the ground up and putting concrete foundations in place to make us a better football club on and off the pitch.
On the injury front we now know the extent of Shane Huke’s injury. The metatarsal in his left foot needed a bone graft and pinning to almost guarantee that he won’t have a re-occurrence in the future. Shane will be out for about four months and it’s something we must thank Dr Abdulla and the board for as their swift response to the news allowed us to get Shane operated on much quicker than would normally be the case.
Operations are very expensive and most players are left to rely on the National Health Service but on this occasion with all the medical facts presented, it was deemed more beneficial for the football club and the player to get the operation done immediately. This has reduced the amount of time Hukey will be missing by as much as three months, which effectively would have seen his season over.
Joe Howe has resumed full training and should be available again but Andy Pugh has suffered a fractured wrist and at the time of writing these notes the length of time Andy will be unavailable is still to be determined.
Tom Phipp has joined Maidstone United on a month’s loan and it was great to see Tom play ninety minutes and score a goal on his debut for them against Leiston last Saturday. I felt Tom needed some games to get him up to full fitness as he’s not been playing regularly for us, I hope he comes back fit and ready to push for a first team place.